The Assassin’s Creed franchise has become a regular and well known release over the last few years. Admittedly there has been a few average titles but overall this has been one franchise you can count on to give you some top notch gaming time.
The most recent releases were split with Assassin’s Creed Unity going to the latest generation of consoles and Assassin’s Creed Rogue going to the last generation of machines. Like anyone with systems from both generations, I am always keen to get titles on the new one over the old one, but this time it seems fate dealt me a good hand in the form of the highly polished, and stable, Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Even if it is a bit of a ‘been there, done that’ experience. You don’t stop drinking beer just because you have had one before, do you?
Following in the footsteps of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, you again take the helm of a ship as your primary means of transportation. But this time you take on the persona of Shay Patrick Cormac and Irish Assassin turned Templar during the mid 18th century French and Indian War, one year after Black Flag. Although by placing you in the North Atlantic means too much time in the freezing water will kill you. So no more under water diving missions this time around. Back in the modern world your ‘behind the scenes’ man is a fella called Numbskull, who causes a major crash in the Abstergo computer systems by tripping a hidden memory of Cormac’s. So by continuing the exploration of Cormac’s memories it is hoped a reason, and resolution, for the system crash can be found.
Really there isn’t much to say, if you have played an Assassin’s Creed game in the past, then you can go into Rogue pretty much knowing what to expect. Rogue has called on many elements of the previous titles and rolled them together in a huge game world, and to the disappointment of some this includes all the seek and collect items. Now I have to admit to enjoying this, mainly because I will always want to explore every nook and cranny anyway. But add these collectables to all the hideout, anti-assassination, and errand missions and you will find yourself a very busy ex-assassin indeed. The down side for fans of the series is that if you are playing Rogue after Black Flag, it will feel like the same game in too many ways to justify purchasing it at full price. But if you are new to the series or haven’t played any recent titles then Rogue is a great game to grab.
As is the standard that has been set by the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the graphics are fantastic. And considering we are now a generation ahead in the hardware stakes, it wasn’t all that painful going back to the Xbox 360 after spending most of my recent time one the Xbox One, pleasantly surprising. There is also plenty going on for the ears, with the return of the Sea Shanties for your crew to sing being a highlight. Even if catching some of them is a pain in the arse. Controls are smooth and easily picked up, and with the few tweaks that have been made to the combat, things seem to flow a bit better than previously. The free running element still has its quirks with you not always ending up where you wanted but nothing game breaking or different from previous titles.
Nothing new here, but what is here is good. Interesting call to not release Rogue on the new generation of consoles, but with so many similarities to Black Flag maybe it was a financial decision, who knows. At least players still rocking the last gen consoles are still being looked after with solid titles like Rogue. Unfortunately because of this, all the gamers who have upgraded consoles will miss out on Rogue, not the end of the world but for fans it will be disappointing to miss out on this Irish flavoured anti-assassin.